Rob: Our question this morning…. What does it mean to ‘live well’? –What does our society tell us about a ‘happy life’? –How does that compare with a Christian view? –What might we need to think about to reconcile these two perspectives? Where did this question come from?
Working with a group on workplace well-being Using some ideas from positive psychology … and particularly a model from a prominent researcher in the field The PERMA model from Prof. Martin Seligman
As the group were discussing the model in relation to their work…. I began to think… And a number of questions started to bubble up… I’ll share some of those questions later I shared them with Chris and we started a dialogue, with Michele… and here we are to see what *you* think…
So let’s first look at PERMA… When we have briefly been through the model we will split into groups to talk about what we think, and share those thoughts So what is PERMA? A prescription from modern positive psychologists of how to obtain well-being and satisfaction with life!
PERMA (very briefly!) Positive Emotions – ‘feeling good’, engaging in activities which enhance mood (like spending time with people we like, doing things we like doing, being outside, eating great food etc!) Engagement – being actively involved in something, work, hobbies, causes. Includes the concept of ‘Flow’ Relationships (positive) – social ‘animals’ with need for connection Meaning – dedicating our time to something greater than ourselves, purpose and values Achievement – doing things we set out to do, feeling a sense of accomplishment
Michele: Topics for discussion You were each given a small card with a letter on when you came in Find others with the same letter Those relate to PERMA P,E,R,M & A Discuss what this area means to us from a Christian perspective? How might we be either supportive or critical of our discussion topic? 15 minutes
Michele & Chris: Bring our thoughts together What did we talk about? What do we want to share? Thoughts, observations and comments…
Rob: My questions (to myself) about PERMA when thinking about God… Positive emotions In connection with God, are my emotions positive, or tied up in the guilt of fallibility? Do I praise? Do I experience the joy of praise? Do I bring positivity to others around church (the community, not the building) and does His light 'shine' through me to those outside the church? What is my focus on - feeling good, pleasure and is this hedonism? Do I do the fun stuff in search of feeling good, rather than the tough stuff?
Engagement What is my level of commitment and engagement to / with God? Is the time I spend in His work in or out of proportion? What am I not doing which I would be doing if I were fully engaged? Am I praying? Am I reading the bible and studying the word? Is church a Sunday activity? Who knows about my 'engagement'? Where do I find my 'flow'? What gifts am I not bringing for His work, and why not?
Positive Relationships What is my relationship like with God? What do I need to do to strengthen that relationship? Am I developing (or do I have) positive relationships in church and out?... what dysfunctional relationships do I have, and what should I do about that? Who do I seek out, and who do I avoid - and why? Who do I hold grudges against, and what should I do about this? What can I do to have better relationships with the church family and without? Do I have caring relationships with my neighbours - my actual neighbours, and those in need generally? Are my close relationships the best that they can be, and what might I need to address in those relationships?
Meaning What do I believe about creation? Who is my creator? What do I believe about Jesus? What do his death and resurrection mean to me? What is my purpose, generally? What is my purpose, specifically? Is my life style and my time-spend reflective of what I believe, and if not - why not? What is the meaning of my life in the context of the bible?
Achievement What do my earthly achievements stand for? In my balance of 'achievements' which of these are self-serving versus serving God and serving others? In whose name did I achieve these things? What am I doing today which I can truly say are achievements for Jesus, with his guiding hand and support, and which honour his name? What role does ego play in my life, and what behaviours is that driving?
Positive emotion Engage Relationships Meaning Achievement All are about relationships
I E ngage P ositive Emotion R elationship M eaning A chieve
I E ngage P ositive Emotion R elationship M eaning A chieve PERMA – when problems come Depressed Anxious Angry Stop Fight Withdraw Hostile Despair Paranoid Inactive Violent
GOD P M A eace eant to worship lign with God’s will SL ove eek
PERMA to PSALM PSALMPSALM Psalms help us communicate however we feel.
Michele: Back in your talking groups, briefly Create a prayer which reflects your thinking (which you shared) – and we will use these prayers today It doesn't matter what you think about the model – you may completely reject it… but The prayer should be a response… in whatever form that takes.
Chris If you found today’s topic difficult, or it has raised issues for you… There is help and support: The prayer ministry team People in our church family Health care professionals